Mirin Glazed Salmon
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Nigella’s mirin glazed salmon makes a quick, easy, and elegant meal.
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson. It’s an elegant and remarkably easy dish, one that completely belies the amount of effort on your part. Most of the ingredients are right out of the pantry, and you can have it on the table in 20 minutes. Honest! To that end, be sure to have your fishmonger portion and skin the salmon for you — it’s a huge timesaver — and start cooking your rice beforehand so that everything will be ready at the same time. You’ll see the sweetness of the marinade causes the salmon to caramelize while cooking, which creates a beautiful sear and gorgeous, rich mahogany glaze.
Note: Mirin is a sweet Japanese cooking wine found in the Asian section of most supermarkets.
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Mirin Glazed Salmon
Nigella’s mirin glazed salmon makes a quick, easy, and elegant meal.
- ¼ cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
- ¼ cup light brown sugar (do not substitute dark brown sugar)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin removed (preferably cut narrow and tall, rather than wide and flat)
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 scallions, halved and sliced into fine strips
- Mix the mirin, brown sugar, and soy sauce in a shallow dish that will hold all 4 salmon fillets. Stir to dissolve sugar. Place the salmon in the dish and marinate for 5 to 10 minutes, turning once.
- Meanwhile, set a very large non-stick skillet on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Place the salmon fillets in the hot, dry pan – presentation sides down – and cook for a few minutes until nicely seared and coated with a rich brown glaze (keep a close eye on the pan; this happens quickly). Turn the fillets over, reduce the heat to medium, and add the marinade and water to the pan. Cook 3 to 5 minutes more, until fish reaches desired doneness. If the sauce looks like it’s reducing or thickening too quickly, just add a bit of water a few tablespoons at a time. Do not let it burn. Transfer salmon fillets to serving platter or plates. If sauce is nicely reduced and thickened, turn off heat. If not, continue to cook over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. Add the rice wine vinegar to the sauce and stir. Pour the sauce over salmon fillets, top with scallions and serve.
- Per serving (4 servings)
- Calories: 437
- Fat: 23g
- Saturated fat: 5g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Sugar: 14g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 36g
- Sodium: 1005mg
- Cholesterol: 94mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Gluten-Free Adaptable Note
To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.
Just found this recipe and made it for dinner tonight. I only had dark brown sugar so that’s what I used. It was so quick and easy and absolutely delicious! A new favorite way to make salmon for my family. Thanks for another great recipe Jenn!!
Can I make this with the skin?
I was going back and forth between this and your soy mustard glaze recipe and couldn’t decide so I added the mustard to the marinade and used sherry vinegar instead of rice vinegar, and followed this recipe. I don’t know if it made sense but it turned out superb! Served with your suggested sides and had an amazing dinner. Thank you so very much!
(Our kids had never asked for more salmon before.)
love the recipe….however, baking in the oven is another option and the flavors really come out. Well done”!!!
Why only light brown sugar? What if I don’t have it? Which I don’t right now. Only dark. If you happen to see this please let me know within the next 15 minutes. Thank you.
Hi Johnny, I’m obviously weighing too late to help, but I suggest light brown sugar as I’m concerned the dark brown would burn. Hope it turned out okay if you made it!
My family loved this. I couldn’t get the sauce to thicken much and I was afraid I would burn it if I kept cooking it. But it didn’t matter. It still tasted delicious. Paired it with white rice, some Asian spinach and an Asian cucumber salad.
This looks like a great recipe! I have a question. Can you bake the salmon instead of frying it? Let me know.
Hi Marlena, I would broil instead of bake it. The timing should be about the same. You can cook the sauce in a small sauce pan while the salmon cooks. Please LMK how it turns out!
I used this glaze on some leftover salmon I broke into chucks. Perfect with rice, spicy mayo, avocado, and sesame seeds!
This was one of the best salmon recipes I have tasted! I love Asian flavours so I love how this was incorporated in this dish. It was also very easy to make, a bit fiddly trying to flip my salmon without breaking it but got there in the end. I served mine with roast potatoes and steamed broccoli. The sauce was so nice with the potatoes!
Thank you Chef Jenn. Yet another winner! My boys inhaled it. Sauce doubles well.
It was easy and does not take long to prepare and cook. I make a little twist to flavour by adding half tsp of hot english mustard, mixed well then marinade. It gives a little kick. Serve with Japanese rice and some green like steamed bok choy.
Thanks for recipes
Hi Jen, I love your recipes although most of them are for 6. I’m making a birthday dinner for my daughter this weekend for 10. I know to the recipes to serve more. My question is what are the best side dishes to serve with a teriyaki style salmon? Thank you so so much
Hi Barbara, this would pair nicely with jasmine rice and simple steamed broccoli. Also, I have a feature on the website– for all main dishes, I suggest one or two sides that I think would pair nicely with them. To see what I’ve suggested, scroll down to the bottom of the recipe. Immediately under the recipe, you’ll see the dishes that I’ve suggested. Hope that helps and that everyone enjoys!
As Christopher Walker’s character on SNL used to say (I’m dating myself here)…WOWEE – WOW – WOW – WOW. Simply DELICIOUS! I’ll never order teriyaki in a restaurant again. I’ve made this 3 times. My husband keeps requesting it. I have used it also to prepare chicken tenderloins and used the leftover sauce with extra sliced scallions to make fried rice. Another winning recipe, Jenn!
Excellent. Added a tablespoon of sweet chili sauce. Broke up the sweetness a bit with the subtle spice.
Another great recipe! The sauce was so perfect. It was perfect to serve with rice and broccoli.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I serve it over quinoa with pan fried shiitake mushrooms and scallions and my family loves it!
Can I bake this, if yes at what temperature?
Sure. I’d use the baking guidance from this recipe. Hope you enjoy!
This is such an easy yet delicious way to make salmon. I made this recipe and the Mirin glazed salmon recipe on the same night to do a taste test. To my surprise this recipe won! While I usually prefer to bbq salmon I wanted to try out my new air fryer. If you have one, I recommend using it- you won’t be sorry!
One of the best recipes I have cooked in ages – very big smiles all round the table the other night when we had this for dinner. My 9 year old boy was even more happy when there was a piece left which he thought he could have for lunch the next day.
I’m your biggest fan and love your recipes. Which is why I’m frustrated by your ambiguity with regards to Mirin. What type of mirin does this recipe require? You mention Kikkoman brand, so I assume it’s “Aji-Mirin,” the condiment –not the wine type as you mention in your comments. Please read the link below for the different types and specify in your recipe what type. Or don’t call it “wine” when it’s not wine in an actual bottle that you’re requiring. (You’re basically saying “use wine,” but then saying “Welch’s is the best brand.” So what is it? Wine or grape juice? It doesn’t make any sense. Here, are we using actual wine or the condiment? Please specify which type.). Thank you!
Hi Elizabeth, Sorry for any confusion. My bottle just says Mirin on it, but some big brands (like Kikkoman) will be labeled as “aji-mirin” which translates to “tastes like mirin.” This likely means they have some added sweeteners, will definitely work here. Hope that clarifies.
Deeee-licious! Made this tonight for a quick weeknight meal. Used some of the marinade to soak cubed tofu in as my son doesn’t like salmon and worked perfectly for that too. Served as suggested with roasted broccoli and jasmine rice. A huge hit and will be in our meal rotation.
Jenn – one question. We really like grilled salmon. Is there a way to adapt this recipe so I can grill it? Thanks!
So glad you liked it! I do think you could grill it; because of the brown sugar and mirin, just keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Hey yeah, what does nice side mean? I tried skin side first and ended up undercooked it
Hi Brad, sorry for any confusion. That refers to the side of the salmon that looks best and that you will serve facing up on the plate. I’m going to tweak the wording there a little to make it more clear.
Delish! Made the recipe as written and it was amazing. Served it with leftover rice pilaf and roasted vege stirfry. Will definitely make this again. Super easy and quick!
What brand Mirin do you recommend?
Hi Myrna, I like Kikoman. 🙂
I made this with Salmon and it was delicious. Would Cod work with this recipe?
Glad you liked it! Sure, cod should work. Please LMK how it turns out with cod. 🙂
Another awesome recipe Jen! I made this for my son who loves Salmon. My husband was not excited when I told him Salmon for supper as he does not like salmon. After the first couple of bites my husband said it was Excellent and he’d eat this anytime! Loved it and the sauce! I never thought I’d hear him say that! Thanks Jen for another excellent recipe!
This was absolutely delicious. Even though I had to use dark brown sugar it turned out great. The whole family loved it; it’s been added to favourites list for future repeat performance.
How long should it take for the sauce to thicken? I had mine heating for an extra 7-ish minutes after I took the salmon off the pan but it just stayed to same consistency 🙁 Flavours were delicious though!!
Hi Jess, sorry you had a problem with the sauce! I should’ve definitely thickened after that amount of time. Is there any chance you made a measuring error?
I measured everything according to the instructions. I’m going to try agin tonight, but if the same things happens, could I just add some cornstarch to thicken?
Sure, if you have that same problem, cornstarch would definitely help!
Which salmon do you use?
Hi Misti, it really depends on the store that I’m in and what’s available at the time. I use farm-raised Atlantic salmon if there aren’t other options available.
Oh my gosh, this is a wonderful dish! Other salmon dishes of yours are favorites of ours but this takes the stars for ease and flavor!
I think my initial question did not post. I can’t cook with wine or any alcohol…is there anything I could substitute for the mirin and have it turn out just as well? Thank you!
Hi Ayesha, Because mirin is such a significant component of this recipe, I wouldn’t suggest substituting something else. I’d probably just use a different salmon recipe — sorry!
Thank you for your reply Jenn. Any other salmon recipe you would recommend? My kids love Asian food so I was looking forward to trying out this one!
Hi Ayesha, the one Asian salmon recipe that comes to mind is this one. Hope everyone enjoys if you try it!
What does “nice side down” mean?
Hi Issac, by “nice side down”, I’m referring to the prettier/presentation side of the salmon. Hope that clarifies and that you enjoy!
Was looking at your Pan Seared Salmon with soy mustard glaze but that has Mirin also 🙁
True, I’d stay away from that one too because the mirin plays a relatively large part in the recipe. 🙁
One more question…I got rid of all my non-stick cookware years back….could I make it in a cast iron skillet or stainless steel cookware instead? Thank you in advance.
Cast iron should work here. 🙂
Can I use white sugar as a substitute for brown sugar?
Sure, Kristy, white sugar should work here. Hope you enjoy!
O-M-G this recipe is divine – just perfect. I wish I could give it 10 stars. And I served it with broccoli and jasmine rice as suggested. Everyone loved it and wanted more. I didn’t have mirin so I used dry white wine with sugar. Delicate and delicious.
This is my 7 and 9 year olds’ favorite entree. My husband and I like it just as much. It has been on our weekly rotation of meals for months.
Thank you for finding and sharing Nigella’s recipe.
We liked it but it didn’t get that sear we wanted. Thinking next time I’ll use a cask iron pan not a non stick. The thickening of the sauce took too long also.
I would like to make this salmon for company this weekend but I know they will not eat rice. Can you recommend something else to pair with it? I’d like to make as much as possible in advance. Thanks, … love your recipes and cookbook. Pam
Hi Pam, My Asian slaw goes really nicely with this. You can make the dressing and toss all of the veggies together ahead of time but wait to add the dressing until right before serving or the salad will get soggy. Hope that helps and so glad you’re enjoying all the recipes. 😊
Delicious…I have been following recipes online for years and this is the first comment I have ever left on a recipe…more of a testament to this site than just this recipe alone..anyway had a big filet of salmon but only one pound..followed this recipe exactly even with the pound less of salmon(won’t make that mistake again I wanted more)..everybody loved it…the initial sear is definitely quick so don’t walk away..served this with terriaki sautéed zucchini, balsmati rice and miso soup..I will be saving this one for sure..coincidentally, and the reason I decided to leave a comment is because last night I cooked another one of your recipes..the potato and leek soup which is another one of my favorites..I had no idea it was a recipe from the same person so thank you..I will be looking around your site more than just googling..
This recipe was fantastic! The salmon was tender and moist, and the reduced sauce was absolutely delicious. The scallions really added the perfect contrast in both flavor and texture. I will be adding this to the repertoire for sure!
Jen, I’ve tried many of your recipes and they are all excellent but this one has gotta be my all time fave! So tasty but easy peasy to make. Perfect for weekday meals. Perfect pairing with plain jasmine or basmati rice… only bad thing about it is it makes you want to eat more rice! Haha.
Do I use a non stick pan or a stainless steel pan for this recipe ?